ROOTS


Postby surreygirl » Wed Jul 08, 2009 2:57 pm

There are roots entering the drains which are outside of the house under the pavement which block the drains. Does anyone know if this is the responsibility of the Council or do we as owners of the house have to pay and deal with it!
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Postby rosebery » Wed Jul 08, 2009 8:18 pm

Drains will be the responsibility of the water company although depending where in Surrey you are you may find that water and sewerage are dealt with by different utilities.

If its outside the boundary of your property its a public sewer and therefore not your responsibility - although if the roots in question are yours there could be an interesting discussion ahead.

Cheers
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Postby surreygirl » Thu Jul 09, 2009 5:29 am

The drain top is just inside the property, but the trees belong to the council the roots of the trees are trees which are outside on the road. I have just phoned the council now and they are going to send a tree surgeon to look at the situation for me :lol: thanks for your reply.
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Postby surreygirl » Thu Jul 09, 2009 2:12 pm

I have given the council offices a ring and they are going to send someone out to have a look :lol: It would be great if it was their responsibility as that would mean they would have to fix it - hopefully! -.
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Postby htg engineer » Sat Jul 11, 2009 5:16 pm

If the trees belong to the council then you may have a case of getting the drains repaired at the councils expense, if not then your house insurance should cover it.

Not sure what all the :lol:'s are about, I wouldn't say it was an amusing topic :-).


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Postby surreygirl » Sun Jul 12, 2009 6:56 am

I only put the smile because of the response from the council which I was pleased with. I had received a letter from the Secretary of our management company saying that we would have to pay a considerable lump sum to have the drains repaired. The Secretary has not given a thought to the fact that the damage may be the responsibility of the Council who are responsible for the trees that grow on the grass verge outside hence I phoned them myself and they are coming out to check the situation. Obviously if they are responsible for the damage then we are saved a lot of money.

In respect of the fact that perhaps the insurance would pay out for the damage that is also another option that I nor the Secretary had thought of. So thanks for that :lol:
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Postby rosebery » Sun Jul 12, 2009 8:23 am

"If the trees belong to the council then you may have a case of getting the drains repaired at the councils expense, if not then your house insurance should cover it."

Don't understand - the drains concerned are outside the house boundary according to post 1. House insurance has nothing to do with it - its the local water/sewage company's problem surely unless its her roots damaging their drain!

Cheers

Edit - forgot to add the drains are NOT the council's responsibility in most cases.
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Postby htg engineer » Sun Jul 12, 2009 7:13 pm

'The drain top is just inside the property, but the trees belong to the council the roots of the trees are trees which are outside on the road'

I take the drain top to be the manhole ??????? so where do the roots enter the drains ? before or after your boundary ?

Tree roots head for water, for the roots to enter the drain the drain must have been leaking even if just a minor leak.

If it's on your property, it's your responsibility. Your house insurance will cover it.


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Postby rosebery » Sun Jul 12, 2009 9:59 pm

"........so where do the roots enter the drains ? before or after your boundary ?"

Thats really a very key question and perhaps Surreygirl could confirm. The first post says OUTSIDE the boundary and what I have based my input on. The location of manholes isn't really relevant at all.

To summarise the several aspects of this case then:

1. If the roots have invaded the drains outside the boundary of the property the drains are the responsibility of the local sewerage authority and not the council and not the owner(s) of the property as these are designated public sewers. The ownership of the trees causing the problem is a different matter and a matter of discussion between the sewerage authority and the owner of the trees.

2. If the property is pre 1937 and drains from neighbouring properties join one another to form a combined drain INSIDE the boundary and the root damage is after they join its still the responsility of the local sewerage authority as this is still considered a public sewer from the point where the individual drains join. Prior to that its a private sewer and its the property owners responsibility. Post 1937 drains only become a public sewer after they cross the boundary irrespective of whether adjoining properties share drains at some point or another within the boundary.

3. If its a public sewer then the sewage company have a responsibility to fix it but may well seek recompense from the owner of the trees for the cost involved.

4. If its a private sewer you can either get a private contractor or the local sewerage company to fix it but the whole will be chargeable. It would then be up to you to seek recompense for the damage from the owner of the trees which, in this case, seem to be the council and provided they accept liabilty.

5. Whether its covered by the insurance policy for the private sewer scenario really is an indeterminate point because it will depend on the precise cover provided by the insurance policy. Noone can second guess what the policy says without looking at it. Be aware though that some insurances contain exclusions relating to damage to drains in that a) it has to be reported immediately as an emergency and b) the policy holder must have contacted a drainage contractor to deal with it as an emergency. If its not an emergency and just an inconvenience it may not be covered. If its not an "all-risks" policy it probably won't be covered at all.

BTW depending on where you are in Surrey your sewerage services may be supplied either by Thames Water or Southern Water. If your water supplier is Sutton and East Surrey Water they won't be involved because they are not responsible for the output only the input.

Cheers
rosebery
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